Thinking in the Dark, Thinking in the Dark, 0813566282, 0-8135-6628-2, 978-0-8135-6628-3, 9780813566283, , , Thinking in the Dark, 0813566290, 0-8135-6629-0, 978-0-8135-6629-0, 9780813566290, , , Thinking in the Dark, 0813566304, 0-8135-6630-4, 978-0-8135-6630-6, 9780813566306, , , Thinking in the Dark, 0813575605, 0-8135-7560-5, 978-0-8135-7560-5, 9780813575605,
Thinking in the Dark

Cinema, Theory, Practice
Murray Pomerance (Editor), R. Barton Palmer (Editor)
288 pages, 42 photographs, 6 x 9
Cloth, October 2015 $90.00   ADD TO CART
Paper, October 2015 $28.95   ADD TO CART
Web PDF, October 2015 $28.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
epub, October 2015 $28.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Subject Area:
Film, Media Studies, and Communications, Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, American Studies


Today’s film scholars draw from a dizzying range of theoretical perspectives—they’re just as likely to cite philosopher Gilles Deleuze as they are to quote classic film theorist André Bazin. To students first encountering them, these theoretical lenses for viewing film can seem exhilarating, but also overwhelming.
Thinking in the Dark introduces readers to twenty-one key theorists whose work has made a great impact on film scholarship today, including Rudolf Arnheim, Sergei Eisenstein, Michel Foucault, Siegfried Kracauer, and Judith Butler. Rather than just discussing each theorist’s ideas in the abstract, the book shows how those concepts might be applied when interpreting specific films by including an analysis of both a classic film and a contemporary one. It thus demonstrates how theory can help us better appreciate films from all eras and genres: from Hugo to Vertigo, from City Lights to Sunset Blvd., and from Young Mr. Lincoln to A.I. and Wall-E.
The volume’s contributors are all experts on their chosen theorist’s work and, furthermore, are skilled at explaining that thinker’s key ideas and terms to readers who are not yet familiar with them. Thinking in the Dark is not only a valuable resource for teachers and students of film, it’s also a fun read, one that teaches us all how to view familiar films through new eyes. 
Theorists examined in this volume are: Rudolf Arnheim, Béla Balázs, Roland Barthes, André Bazin, Walter Benjamin, Judith Butler, Stanley Cavell, Michel Chion, Gilles Deleuze, Jean Douchet, Sergei Eisenstein, Jean Epstein, Michel Foucault, Siegfried Kracauer, Jacques Lacan, Vachel Lindsay, Christian Metz, Hugo Münsterberg, V. F. Perkins, Jacques Rancière, and Jean Rouch.


“In lucid and insightful essays, prominent film scholars discuss a major film or cultural theorist and apply the theory to cinematic texts. Refreshingly, the choice of films considered veers away from the most obvious to those that are excitingly offbeat.”
—Lucy Fischer, Distinguished Professor, University of Pittsburgh

"Offering twenty-one case studies devoted to individual theorists ranging from Walter Benjamin to Michel Chion, Thinking in the Dark is at once expansive in its scope while focused and specific in its application of each theorist’s works … Overall Thinking in the Dark offers a very strong collection of essays from top scholars in the field of film studies, and it should find its way to those seeking a reinvigorated reading of key film theorists. "
—South Atlantic Review

"In the continuously growing flow of anthologies, readers, textbooks, and handbooks on film theory, the collection edited by Pommerance and Palmer is one of the most original and refreshing ones that I have read in many years … Thinking in the Dark is a sound and solid contribution to film studies."
—Leonardo Reviews

Author / Editor Bio

MURRAY POMERANCE is a professor in the department of sociology at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Among his many books are The Eyes Have It: Cinema and the Reality Effect (Rutgers University Press), Marnie, and Alfred Hitchcock’s America

R. BARTON PALMER is the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature and the director of film studies at Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina. The author, editor, or general editor of over sixty books, including Larger Than Life: Movie Stars of the 1950s and Shot on Location: Postwar Hollywood’s Exploration of Real Place (both Rutgers University Press). 


R. Barton Palmer, Murray Pomerance, Jeremy Blatter, Tom Gunning, Steven Woodward, Johannes von Moltke, Colin Williamson, Sarah Keller, Matthew Solomon, Dominic Lennard, Nathan Holmes, William Brown, William Rothman, Dudley Andrew, Will Scheibel, Daniel Morgan, Tom Conley, Steven Rybin, Alex Clayton, Gilberto Perez, Jonah Corne, Kristen Hatch

Table Of Contents



R. Barton Palmer and Murray Pomerance

Chapter 1: Hugo Münsterberg: Psychologizing Spectatorship between Laboratory and Theater

Jeremy Blatter

Chapter 2: Vachel Lindsay: Theory of Movie Hieroglyphics

Tom Gunning

Chapter 3: Béla Balázs: Film Aesthetics and the Rituals of Romance

Steven Woodward

Chapter 4: Siegfried Kracauer: The Politics of Film Theory and Criticism

Johannes von Moltke

Chapter 5: Walter Benjamin: Afterimages of the Aura

Colin Williamson

Chapter 6: Jean Epstein: Cinema’s Encounter with Modern Life

Sarah Keller

Chapter 7: Sergei Eisenstein: Attractions/Montage/Animation

Matthew Solomon

Chapter 8: Jacques Lacan: Giving All the Right Signs

Dominic Lennard

Chapter 9: Rudolf Arnheim: Cinema and Partial Illusion

Nathan Holmes

Chapter 10: Roland Barthes: What Films Show Us and What They Mean

William Brown

Chapter 11: Jean Rouch: The Camera as Provocateur

William Rothman

Chapter 12: André Bazin: Dark Passage into the Mystery of Being

Dudley Andrew

Chapter 13: Gilles Deleuze: On Movement, Time, and Modernism

Will Scheibel

Chapter 14: Stanley Cavell: The Contingencies of Film and Its Theory

Daniel Morgan

Chapter 15: Michel Foucault: Murmur and Meditation

Tom Conley

Chapter 16: Jean Douchet: La Politique Hitchcock

R. Barton Palmer

Chapter 17: Christian Metz: Dreaming a Language in Cinema

Steven Rybin

Chapter 18: V. F. Perkins: Aesthetic Suspense

Alex Clayton

Chapter 19: Jacques Rancière: Equality and Aesthetics

Gilberto Perez

Chapter 20: Michel Chion: Listening to Cinema

Jonah Corne

Chapter 21: Judith Butler: Sex, Gender, and Subject Formation

Kristen Hatch

Works Cited

Notes on Contributors



Final Acts
Nan Bauer-Maglin, Donna Perry
Daughters of Decadence
Elaine Showalter
Indian Voices
Alison Owings
Feminisms Redux
Robyn Warhol-Down, Diane Price Herndl